At Friends of the High Line, we love anything that celebrates artists who work in the High Line neighborhood. So we are excited about the annual High Line Open Studios, coming up on October 15 through 18. Using a map, participants take themselves on self-guided tours of artist studios in the area.
This Saturday brings the Kitchen Block Party, free neighborhood street festival the High Line, put on by the Kitchen, one of our favorite arts partners.
It happens from 12 Noon to 5 PM on West 19th St. between 10th and 11th Aves.
Park(ing) Day, one of our favorite yearly public space happenings, takes to the New York City streets this Friday!
This international event transforms metered parking spaces into playgrounds, parks, creative installations, and unusual meeting-grounds for all to hit the pavement and enjoy. Converting car-intended spots throughout the five boroughs, these park(ing) spaces are a great example of street-space reclaimed. Park(ing) Day's mission doesn't sound too far off from the High Line's reclamation of space for the public.
Last year the High Line participated in the Park(ing) Day extravaganza, one of 57 spaces across the city. This year, our newly-opened park hovers 30 feet higher than most parking spaces, but encourages you to check out a nearby Park(ing) Day space on ground level. A map and description of all the spots is here.
One of our favorites is right here in the neighborhood. Weave the Hearts, sponsored by the West Harlem Art Fund and created by Japanese artist Shintaro Tokairin, can be located at 400 W. 14th Street, near 9th Avenue. Tokairin has created a woven installation piece which will encapsulate the space, inviting visitors to relax and indulge in the artistically-inspired parking spot.
A recent article in the Gotham Gazette documents the perks of a good park, far beyond its immediate function as a facility for recreation and rest. According to "The Central Park Effect", Central Park attracts more than 25 million visitors a year, about one fifth of whom come from outside the city. Spending by these visitors directly and indirectly accounted for $395 million in economic activity. This activity, as well as increases in property values near the park, generated $656 million in revenues for the city in 2007.
In its first week, the High Line attracted more than 70,000 visitors. According to the New York Times, City officials have predicted that development sparked by the High Line as a public park will bring $4 billion in private investment and $900 million in revenues to the city over the next 30 years.
We need your support tomorrow at the Community Board 4 public forum on the Western Rail Yards. Even as we open the first section of the High Line as a public park today, one-third of the structure still has an uncertain future, and may be partially demolished. Come help us show the City, developer and the MTA that the preservation of the entire historic High Line must be made a priority at the Rail Yards.